Author Appearance Canceled Over Controversial Book Title - 8NEWS - WRIC | News Where You Live

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Author Appearance Canceled Over Controversial Book Title

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CUMBERLAND - Author Meg Medina's appearance at a school has been canceled due to her new book's controversial title.

Her latest young adult novel, "Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass" is the story of girl's unraveling as she navigates being in the crosshairs of a bully. 

Medina says it's an open and honest look at not only the act of bullying, but the ripple effect it causes in young people's lives.

"Unfortunately bullying isn't a pretty thing and it involves ugly words...scary words," she says. "I wanted to write about the experience honestly for the kids. And I wanted to speak to them honestly.

Medina was originally invited to speak as part of an anti-bullying event at Cumberland Middle School, but she was later told she would not be able to say or show her books title, show a picture of the cover or use "coarse language" during the presentation.

"There's nothing in the cover that doesn't reflect the essence of the book which is these are the horrible things that are happening. These are the ways that we're hurting each other."

But after school officials saw a trailer for the book containing other words, Medina was asked not to come altogether.

Cumberland Schools Superintendent Amy Griffin issued the following statement:

"The goal of Cumberland Middle School was to hold an assembly for middle school students on bullying prevention. Author Meg Medina was scheduled as the speaker for this event. Concerns were noted about the title of one of her books that she was going to use during the presentation.  The school considered utilizing a student Opt-Out form for the program; however, after viewing the on-line trailer for the book, other inappropriate language was discovered. In reflection, it was decided bullying prevention could be taught without using unacceptable language."

"There was going to be more to the presentation than just me listing all the dirty words that we use," Medina says. "Really what the presentation was going to be about was where the story originated in my life, how a sliver of life turned into fiction and really how this fiction helps us examine what we're doing good and bad."

Medina also states she makes no apologies for the book's title.

"I agree that it's the right title. It's a tough title. It's unsettling. But so is bullying."


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